WASHINGTON — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is seeking to reinstate a research tax credit for businesses through 2010.

On Tuesday, Hatch introduced the tax credit as an amendment to a small-business lending bill, currently before the U.S. Senate.

"Our nation is in serious danger of losing its leadership in the research arena," Hatch said in a news release Tuesday. "Other nations are trying to lure U.S. companies to move their research from the United States to their countries. Many of them have developed very attractive tax incentives designed to do just that."

Hatch's spokeswoman, Antonia Ferrier, said the research tax credit was one of the most popular tax credits businesses used before it expired at the end of 2009. It promoted investments in facilities, ideas and people, she said.

Hatch's amendment would allow businesses to apply the tax credit for all of 2010.

— Joseph M. Dougherty